Obama Welcomes Brotherhood Run for Egyptian Presidency (FrontPageMagazine.com) By Ryan Mauro 04/03/12)
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The Muslim Brotherhood swore up and down that it wouldn’t seek the
Egyptian presidency as proof of its desire for a pluralistic society.
At the last minute, the Brotherhood nominated Khairat el-Shater.
According to the New York Times, State Department officials actually
look at this as a good thing that could stop the more puritanical
Salafists from winning.
“State Department officials said they were untroubled and even
optimistic about the Brotherhood’s reversal of its pledge not to seek
the presidency,” the Times reports.
Shater has had extensive contact with U.S. officials and has
convinced them that he’s not to be feared. Apparently, these U.S.
officials have forgotten about (or never were informed of) the Muslim
Brotherhood’s ideology and history.
The Brotherhood’s leaders preach a strategy of “gradualism”
towards “mastership of the world.” Hamas has officially added “a
branch of the Muslim Brotherhood-Palestine” to its name. The Vice
Chairman of the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party says Hamas is
a “resistance group” and that Cairo should host one of its offices.
The Brotherhood’s leaders are not shy about their goal of destroying
Israel and its internal documents refer to its “work in America as a
kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying Western
civilization from within.”
In November, a Brotherhood spokesman stated without
equivocation, “The Sharia, the Muslim legal framework, must be the
foundation for everything.” On November 24, senior Brotherhood
leaders publicly preached violent jihad, and the International Union
of Muslim Scholars, a Brotherhood entity, declared that it is time
to “revive the duty of jihad in all its forms.” One top leader,
Mohamad Katatni, predicts that the revolution in Egypt would lead to
the elimination of the state of Israel.
The State Department’s welcoming of Shater’s candidacy is partly due
to fear of the Salafist candidate, Hazem Salah Abu Ismail. He is
outwardly hostile to the West. The Salafists shocked the West when
they won nearly one-fourth of the vote in Egypt’s elections. The
latest poll shows that Ismail leaped forward from as low as fifth
place to second place at 22%, about 10% behind the secularist
presidential frontrunner, Amr Moussa.
Ismail is happy about Shater’s candidacy. He believes that it will
take votes away from Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh, a Muslim Brotherhood
leader whose membership was suspended when he ran for president
against the leadership’s wishes. He’s currently polling at 8%. The
election is held in May, and if no single candidate gets more than
50% of the vote, a run-off is held between the top two candidates the
next month. If it comes down to Moussa and Ismail, the Islamists will
rally behind Ismail and give him a landslide victory.
Three long-standing Brotherhood officials resigned in protest of
Shater’s campaign. One of them, Kamal el-Helbawi, suspects that a
deal has been struck between the ruling military council and the
Brotherhood. He points out that the council declared Shater innocent
of all charges brought against him. Shater serves as an important
liaison between the military council and the Brotherhood.
Dr. Daniel Pipes and Cynthia Farahat believe that the military
council has a power-sharing arrangement with the Islamists that will
allow the generals to justify their rule. There were widespread
allegations of fraud in the elections and reports that the military
council even funded and supplied the Islamists.
Another reason for the welcoming of the Brotherhood’s presidential
campaign by some senior U.S. officials is that it is looked upon as
a “moderate Islamist” group that can counter Al-Qaeda and similar
Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said in January
that “Al-Qaeda probably will find it difficult to compete for local
support with groups like the Muslim Brotherhood” and that “non-
violent, pro-democracy demonstrations challenge Al-Qaeda’s violent
jihadist ideology and might yield increased political power for
secular or moderate Islamist parties.”
When the Brotherhood’s second-in-command said it would “not recognize
Israel under circumstances and might put the peace treaty up to a
referendum,” State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland brushed it
off as the opinion of just one Brotherhood member. “We have had other
assurances from the party with regard to their commitment not only to
universal human rights, but to the international obligations that the
government of Egypt has undertaken,” she said.
William Taylor, the State Department official overseeing U.S. aid to
the countries affected by the Arab Spring, struck a similar tone when
he was asked about why his office was giving election training to
Brotherhood members. “What we need to do is judge people and parties
and movements on what they do, not what they’re called,” he replied.
The second part of Taylor’s answer exposed his ignorance of what the
Brotherhood preaches. He said, “as long as parties, entities do not
espouse or conduct violence, we’ll work with them.” The U.S. “should
not be afraid of [the Brotherhood]. We should deal with them,” he
feels. All indications are that the options are not good for the
direction of Egypt. Islamic theocracy is the ultimate destination —
the only question is whether the country will arrive there by street
car or speeding train. And so far, the Obama administration’s role
has only been to make this transition more expeditious. (Copyright ©
2012 FrontPageMagazine.com 04/03/12)
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